The battle to take over Manchester United has been thrown into chaos - with a deadline for bids extended at the 11th hour.
The Raine Group, who are conducting the sale on behalf of owners the Glazer family, had set a cut-off point of 21.00 GMT on Wednesday night for second offers to be submitted.
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, through his chemicals company INEOS, have both made it public knowledge that they are in the reckoning. The Guardian reports that representatives of both parties had submitted bids - although that did not prove the case.
As a result, a new deadline has been set. It is reported that INEOS will lodge another offer although the Qatari bidders are awaiting to hear from the Raine Group before making a fresh proposal. Meanwhile, as many as eight suitors could be involved.
Ratcliffe and the Qatari's maiden offers were said to be around £4.5 billion. However, the Glazer family are reportedly holding out for the upper end of £5-6 billion.
That would make United the world's most expensive sports team after NFL team the Denver Broncos was sold for around £3.8 billion in June 2022.
Liverpool and owners Fenway Sports Group will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the proceedings at Old Trafford. FSG put the Reds on the market more than four months ago, although they're seeking investment rather than a complete sale. A valuation of around £4 billion has been mooted.